By JAMES BELL
Two Fort Hays State University students have made the leap from a home-based business into a storefront in Hays, showcasing affordable used appliances.
While co-owners Peyton Haffner and KatLyn Martinez are in Hays studying agronomy and business, respectively, they are excited to expand their business and plan to keep it going even after graduation.
Haffner said he enjoys living in Hays after moving from Hutchinson last June.
“It’s just big enough that you have the amenities ... not too big where you don’t know anyone,” he said
But Haffner saw an opportunity and with Martinez decided to bring the skill he learned working back home to Hays – appliance repair.
“It was the perfect opportunity to get out on my own,” Haffner said.
While he worked repairs, Martinez handled sales.
As the business grew through word of mouth and online advertising, they moved into a storage unit, and earlier this year opened a storefront location at 420 E. Eighth.
The location was just the right size for the business, Haffner said, and he likes being just down the road from FHSU, with students from the college making up a significant portion of the business.
While they hope to offer a good service to the community Martinez said the business is not just about used appliances sales.
“We like to recycle them and keep them from going to the dumps,” she said. “It’s helping people save money and helping keep the earth clean,” she said.
Haffner said he is fond of working in the used appliance market and it is filling a need.
In the shop, they sell washers, dryers, ovens and refrigerators as well as doing repairs.
“The whole western part of the state is lacking in that,” he said.
And Haffner said he takes great pride in selling a good product.
“They are fully gone through,” he said of the appliances he sells, with no detail overlooked, including a fresh coat of factory paint if needed.
“They are fully rebuilt so in my eyes a lot of these machines, well, they aren’t made anymore and they were built tough,” Haffner said.
He also refits the washers with leak-free tubs. During the process the machine is taken completely apart, pressure washed and repaired if needed – and a leak prevention material is applied.
“It’s got a 100-year service life, so if your washer lasts over 100 years you may need to worry about it,” he said.
And in their shop, they offer a variety of models including machines from the '90s up to newer models, but the age does not change the service the machines receive and each gets a warranty from 30 days to one full year that covers parts and labor.
“They pretty much all get the same treatment,” Haffner said.
They are also offering free delivery installation within 30 miles of Hays. Outside of that range and the customer only pays for fuel.
The cares and service put into every machine, Haffner said stands him apart from others.
“It’s a little bit different than your general used appliance deal,” he said. “I hate whenever you see people that claim to be used appliance salesman and all they do is fix what is wrong ... If you’re wanting to stand behind (what you sell) and have something that is actually going to last, you have got to go to the extent of something like that, if you want it to be around a long time and really I do.”